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feds want to double the price to the nations most visited national parks

gbafNews28

The government of President Trump proposes that in 2018 the price of entry to 17 protected areas pass between $10 or $15 per person to 30 and $25 or $30 to $70 per vehicle. The measure is subject to public consultation until November 24.

The US National Park Service plans to double the cost of tickets to enter some of the most emblematic and visited protected areas in the country such as Yosemite (California), Grand Canyon (Arizona), Denali (Alaska) and Yellowstone (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho).

n 2018, the price would go from $10 or $15 per person to $30 and, in the case of vehicles, it would go from $25 or $30 to $70 during the five months of most visits in each one.

The National Park Service is also proposing adjustments to entrance fees and permits for commercial tour operators.

Although the proposal at the moment is provisional – subject to public comment until November 23 – the federal agency has come out to promote the measure, ensuring that this money is necessary to improve the infrastructure of the parks ” that is aging and needs renovation and restoration ”

“The increases in entry prices will help ensure that they are protected and preserved and that visitors will have access to a world-class experience in keeping with the amazing places they are visiting,” Ryan Zinke, secretary of the press office , said in an official press release.

If that increase is implemented, revenues from national parks could increase to $ 70 million per year, an increase of 34% over the $ 200 million collected in fiscal year 2016.

According to the federal law that regulates these lands, 80% of the entrance fee remains in the park where it is collected to make roads, bridges, camps, water lines, toilets and other services for visitors. The other 20% is spent on projects in other national parks that are less visited and have lower income.

These are the 17

In the USA there are 417 national parks , of which only 118 charge entrance to visitors. More than 330 million people visited some of them during 2016, 8% more than in 2015.

The increase in prices is proposed for national parks that host the largest number of annual visitors and collect 70% of the total income for protected areas.

In each, the measure will be in force during the 5 months that are considered high season. These include the Arches National Parks, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Zion, with high season since May 1, 2018 ; in Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain and Shenandoah National Parks with high season starting June 1, 2018; and in Joshua Tree National Park as soon as possible in 2018.

The announcement of the National Park Service was not well received by nature lovers or by the representatives of the states that have great economic activity linked to them.

Theresa Pierno , director of the Conservation Association of National Parks, says that, after cutting the budget of parks proposed by the Trump administration of 12% (equivalent to $ 1,500 million), the growing bill for the maintenance of these areas should not be assumed only by visitors . “If the administration wants to support national parks, it needs to walk and work with Congress to address the backlog in maintenance,” he said.

For his part, Jon Tester, Democratic Senator from Montana told Moose Gazette: “Americans already have these parks and should not have to empty their pockets to enjoy them (…) This decision will force families in Montana to walk off land and damage the local economies that thrive thanks to places like Glacier and Yellowstone.”

Tester and Pierno agree that although $ 70 may not mean much to some, for many American families this would be a prohibitive fee.

According to the current plan, the cost of the annual pass for all national parks, however, would remain at $80. The parks do not charge admission to visitors under 16 years of age, seniors, military and volunteers.

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